This site is solely created and administrated by Wen Nie Ng for a graduate course on Digital Libraries taught by Professor John A. Walsh in Indiana University – Bloomington. This site will also serve as a prototype for the digital library for Indiana University Paleontology Collection in the Department of Geological Sciences Department.

I owe thanks to John A. Walsh and Gary Motz from the I.U. Paleontology Collection (IUPC) for guidance and assistance.


I got started with IUPC as a volunteer collection assistant in Aug 2015 to help catalog specimens in the collection. Later, Gary Motz, the collection manager and me worked on the planning of the digital library. Gary suggested me to start curate for the materials kept in the type room to explore the different kinds of items within the IUPC. We came to identify preservation and conservation issues within the collection and prioritized the digitization of items with critical preservation condition. We sought suggestions from the IU preservationists: Elise Calvi and Doug Sanders, and reevaluated conservation concerns in IUPC. A few electronic finding aids have been generated from the type room material. The documentation of the care and preservation of the film, slides, manuscript and etc. shall be created in near future for future reference.

Moving to the next step in publishing the IUPC, I've assessed the fossil specimens collection and made the appropriate metadata scheme to represent the different kinds of material. Currently, my metadata scheme has covered the Cambrian trilobite plastotypes and thesis paper. This digital library was initially built on Omeka.org for the advantages of full control of open source software and storage space that will only be limited by the server maintained by the IUPC.

However, at the later stage, due to the consideration of the required maintenance of the server and lack of IT personnel that will be maintaining the server in the long run, the IUPC decided to get a webserve webserver account from the Indiana University in replacement of a physical server.

In November 2016, taking into account the possibility of lacking IT personnel to maintain the digital library on omeka.org, the department has finally decided to use the out of the box application. The IUPC purchased a platinum plan from omeka.net and utilizing the IU Digital Library Repository – Fedora to overcome the limited storage space that is assigned by omeka.net.

Currently, the purchase of the platinum account is under process and the full functions of the Omeka platinum account are yet to be discovered.

Certain workflow of the digital library project will be perpetual, such as updating the metadata scheme to properly represent the different nature of the material (3-dimensional photograph, photo prints, film negatives, slides, manuscript, field notebook) within the collection. This is to ensure the IUPC delivering consistently reliable information to the scientific community.

Details of technical, standards and metadata schemes used